Tuesday, August 24, 2010
A Friend in the Storm - Part 1 - and Giveaway!
To celebrate the release of my friend Cheryl Ricker's new gift book, A Friend in the Storm, I'll be posting a three-part series over the next three weeks called "Through the Storm." Leave a comment on any of the posts, and I'll enter your name in a drawing to win a copy of this lovely little book. A Friend in the Storm combines uplifting quotes, Bible verses, tasteful illustrations, and Cheryl's beautiful poetry to comfort someone going through hard times and point them to the best Friend ever.
Through the Storm
It started the day our dog Isaac died.
I could tell a storm was coming in my life. The air weighted with dread, my senses heightened, and then a series of crises blew in, a minor storm, but it still knocked me about.
Storms in life are inevitable. They pound you, wear you down, toss you around, and threaten to drown you. The apostle Paul faced many life storms before facing a literal storm at sea in Acts 27. Paul's experience offers more than a thrilling sea adventure - it offers practical principles for dealing with the storms of life.
1) Go with the storm
"The ship was caught by the storm...so we gave way to it and were driven along" (Acts 27:15). We usually fight the storms in our lives, but giving way to them may be a better option. Acknowledge you are in a storm. While it rages, you will not be yourself, your life will be in turmoil, and yes, it may last a while. Be kind to yourself and set realistic expectations.
2) Accept help
"They passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together" (Acts 27:17). God places us among others - especially within the church - so we can hold each other together. Allow others to pass their ropes around you. Don't hesitate to ask for prayer, seek counseling, or accept offers of meals or help with housekeeping or babysitting. You can return the favor after the storm has passed.
3) Lighten your load.
"They began to throw the cargo overboard" (Acts 27:18). Storms drain time and energy, so toss all excess baggage. Keep only essential duties and activities, delegate what you can, and let the rest slide. Really. Let it slide.
Over the next two weeks, I'll be sharing more thoughts from Paul's storm at sea. What practical advice do you have for someone facing a storm?